Abt targets strong start to ensure ‘there’s no doubt’ about his FE future
Daniel Abt says that only having a one-year contract might serve to benefit him as he knows what he must do to ensure ‘there’s no doubt’ as to whether he’ll earn another.
Abt went into the final few races of last season unsure as to whether his time as a Formula E driver was coming to an end and even suggested that he might retire should a new offer from Audi not arrive.
With a one-year-contract extension secured, Abt explained to E-Racing Magazine that a title challenge ‘has to be the goal’ to avoid the uncertainty that left him questioning his future this summer.
“I think for now the only thing [I can do] is have a better start because last season we had a bad start. I think if we do that then maybe the whole [contract situation] will be different,” said Abt.
“But if [an early contract extension doesn’t come], as it has happened twice, you know how to treat it and how it works. I hope it’s not going to be a discussion again.
“Either I make sure that quickly there’s no doubt at all or the situation will come up again – but for now, I don’t think about that.”
As part of Formula E’s longest-serving team-mate pairing with 2016-17 champion Lucas di Grassi, Abt is the fifth-highest scoring driver in Formula E and one of only four drivers to have competed in every race since the championship’s inception.
Despite boasting a record of 10 podiums and two Formula E victories to his name, a shot at the driver’s championship has yet to materialise for Abt, but the 26-year-old German believes he has as good a chance as ever this season.
“If you don’t say you want to win the championship your approach is already wrong; it has to be the goal,” said Abt.
“I think we will only be able to tell once the season starts [whether a championship challenge is likely], but so far I cannot see anyone with an advantage.”
Abt also pointed to a change in his engineering team as one of the factors that left him feeling underprepared to mount a title bid last season, despite having secured his first two race wins the season prior.
“I’m now with a team of engineers that I’ve worked for one season with, which was [not the case] after season four when I had my team ripped away and I had to start with a whole new team.
“The call over who was going to be my engineer was really late and we couldn’t properly prepare for the season together as we only had a few tests together. It doesn’t give you 100% confidence, but now I know the guys and we’ve worked together for a season, so the level is a different one for this new season.”
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